No collusion in the e-GP system: MoICE minister

No collusion in the e-GP system: MoICE minister

The system has eliminated the monotonous manual evaluation of the tenders

The electronic-Government Procurement (e-GP) system was officially launched on June 2017 with an objective to enhance efficiency, transparency while processing goods, works and services for the government agencies by suppliers, bidders, and consultants, amongst others.

However, the bidders, suppliers, amongst others are not happy with the system as many questions if the objective of the system is really functioning as prescribed or not with many say if concern agency can look thoroughly through such practices in the system.   

The minister of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment (MoICE), Karma Dorji said that e-GP system has not created any issues nor they received any complaints.

“I assure that the system will not have any issue and definitely it is not an issue with the system,” the minister said.

However, the minister said that because of some changes in dates of the tenders, it might have caused the issue since some are not aware of the changes made in the system. “Once the documents are punched in the procurement system, they cannot make any changes and there aren’t any chances of such mal-practices,” the minister said.

The minister said that there might have some complaints from few individuals since they might have not got the tenders or the bids and it made them to come with such issues without any proper evaluations since there won’t be any problem with the system.

In addition, the minister said that if the individual complains of the system and mal-practices, then it is not true since the system is developed in such a way to have easy accessible, transparency, accountable, amongst others to the public.

“The procurement system is developed to ensure to the best use of the digital platform where it is much convenient than that of the manual work,” the minister said, adding that with the digitalisation there isn’t much for such corrupt and mal-practices unless with some issues with the system failures. 

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), e-GP system of the government facilitates all procuring agencies to publish tenders, corrigendum and notification of the contract awards.

The official from the MoF said that there won’t be any changes to create mal-practice by the system or by the system administrator though sometimes the issues and the challenges arises due to power failure and some changes in the tenders which most of the bidders remains unaware.

According to the MoF, the primary objective of the portal is to provide a single point access to the information on procurements made across various processing agencies.

Meanwhile, a bidder who wishes to stay anonymous said that though the e-GP system is done systematically but sometimes the bidder feels that they are being deceived by the system administrator through mal-practices.

Another said that they are actually meant to keep them informed regarding the changes made or they must be able to see and know the changes made but however, the bidders said that it can’t be reached to the concern individuals and even the system doesn’t work at times leading them to lose the bids.

“I feel that something is not good with the system though such system should be accountable and transparency,” said a concerned bidder.

Similarly, another said that whenever they use the system it just creates nuisance such as they had to re-apply the tender bids again and again unless the system accepts the documents since the system is not accepting full proved documents which is good but however, some of the document gets rejected.

“We don’t know if there are any corrupt practices in the system and before getting it too late, I feel that it is important to investigate such issues by the concern authorities and look thoroughly for the cost of all other bidders,” he said.

Most of the bidder opines that the procurement system is suppose to have savings in terms of cost and time but however, now they even doubt if there is any transparency and will also have to look the standards of the procurement practices.

Meanwhile, the stake holders including individuals, bidders, consultants, procuring agencies, payment service providers, development partners, e-GP system administrators and auditors can have access to e-GP system and information. 

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu